Loose Parts

We've convinced ourselves too many times that this toy or that one is needed or wanted.  However, it has been the "loose parts" that have carried the day with our kids.  My son's discovery of the marvels of a vacuum hose for marble rolling over took any product designed to do the same.  He has often quipped, as he does about any toy that seems to be having a great time, that he wished he himself was a marble and could go down the vacuum hose track.

A pair of 3D movie glasses with the lenses punched out have been frequently thrown into the mix, creating a frisson to a wide range of play scenarios.

The crib mattress has an even higher status.  It has been a trampoline, multiple (multiple!) versions of slides and launchers of all sorts.  It has a place of honour/hiding in our living room from which it is extracted atleast once a day.  It fills all kinds of gaps.

I remember a moment in time when giving my kid a spoon in a restaurant got us through a crucial 15 minute interval.

Loose parts make me have a soft spot of puzzle pieces that have lost their tribe, car parts that have been abandoned to live another day as another part of another toy and even single Barbie shoes.  Their "looseness" sets my kids free to figure out where they can be re-attached.